So, I had heard in the news that Kurt Vonnegut died. I had heard of him, but hadn't read anything by him specifically. A big deal's being made of his death here, since he was supposed to be in town speaking next week, and he's an Indianapolis native. Anyway, today I was looking for a post from last month, and came across a quick post I had made less than a month ago. I went looking for other interesting quotes by the man, after randomly coming across that one. I don't agree with all of these, but I think they're thought-provoking, at least.

Indianapolis' son:
Where is home? I've wondered where home is, and I realized, it's not Mars or someplace like that, it's Indianapolis when I was nine years old. I had a brother and a sister, a cat and a dog, and a mother and a father and uncles and aunts. And there's no way I can get there again.

This is good advice on blogging:

1. Find a subject you care about.
2. Do not ramble, though.
3. Keep it simple.
4. Have the guts to cut.
5. Sound like yourself.
6. Say what you mean to say.
7. Pity the readers.
- quoted in Science Fictionisms (1995), compiled by William Rotsler

On religion:

Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.
- Cat's Cradle, 1963

A great swindle of our time is the assumption that science has made religion obsolete. All science has damaged is the story of Adam and Eve and the story of Jonah and the Whale. Everything else holds up pretty well, particularly lessons about fairness and gentleness. People who find those lessons irrelevant in the twentieth century are simply using science as an excuse for greed and harshness. Science has nothing to do with it, friends.
- Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons, 1974

If it weren’t for the message of mercy and pity in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, I wouldn’t want to be a human being. I would just as soon be a rattlesnake.
- God Bless You Dr. Kevorkian, 1999

What does “A.D.” signify? That commemorates an inmate of this lunatic asylum we call Earth who was nailed to a wooden cross by a bunch of other inmates. With him still conscious, they hammered spikes through his wrists and insteps, and into the wood. Then they set the cross upright, so he dangled up there where even the shortest person in the crowd could see him writhing this way and that. Can you imagine people doing such a thing to a person?
- Cold Turkey, 2004

I do feel that evolution is being controlled by some sort of divine engineer. I can't help thinking that. And this engineer knows exactly what he or she is doing and why, and where evolution is headed. That’s why we’ve got giraffes and hippopotami and the clap.
- On Evolution vs. Intelligent Design, on The Daily Show (September 2005)

On current events:

Here’s what I think the truth is: We are all addicts of fossil fuels in a state of denial, about to face cold turkey. And like so many addicts about to face cold turkey, our leaders are now committing violent crimes to get what little is left of what we’re hooked on.
- Cold Turkey, 2004

…I have wanted to give Iraq a lesson in democracy—because we’re experienced with it, you know. And, in democracy, after a hundred years, you have to let your slaves go. And, after a hundred and fifty years, you have to let your women vote. And, at the beginning of democracy, is that quite a bit of genocide and ethnic cleansing is quite okay. And that’s what’s going on now.
- Appearance on The Daily Show (September 2005)

Other thought provoking quotes:

A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.
- Sirens of Titans, 1959

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.
- Mother Night, 1961

Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are 'It might have been.'
- Cat's Cradle, 1963

People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order, so they'll have good voice boxes in case there's ever anything really meaningful to say.
- Cat's Cradle, 1963

1492. The teachers told the children that this was when their continent was discovered by human beings. Actually, millions of human beings were already living full and imaginative lives on the continent in 1492. That was simply the year in which sea pirates began to cheat and rob and kill them.
- Breakfast of Champions, 1973

(talking about when he tells his wife he's going out to buy an envelope) Oh, she says well, you're not a poor man. You know, why don't you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in the closet? And so I pretend not to hear her. And go out to get an envelope because I'm going to have a hell of a good time in the process of buying one envelope. I meet a lot of people. And, see some great looking babes. And a fire engine goes by. And I give them the thumbs up. And, and ask a woman what kind of dog that is. And, and I don't know. The moral of the story is, is we're here on Earth to fart around. And, of course, the computers will do us out of that. And, what the computer people don't realize, or they don't care, is we're dancing animals. You know, we love to move around. And, we're not supposed to dance at all anymore.
- Interview Public Broadcasting Service (2005)

If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:
Vonnegut's Blues For America 07 January, 2006 Sunday Herald

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am so delighted to see your blog. Kurt Vonnegut has been my favorite writer since I read Cat's Cradle (and then all of his other books) in high school in the early 70's. I read his books and then read them over and over again. I don't think I'll miss him because his words will live forever... He was probably more of a Tralfamadorian than he was an Earthling....so he's really not too far away. Amazing, gifted blessing of a man. I think I'll dust off my old copy of Cat's Cradle for a visit. Thanks again...Kris


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